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According to legend, Rhea hid in this cave to give birth to Zeus, far from the clutches of his offspring-gobbling father Cronos. A slick and vertiginous staircase corkscrews into the damp dark, passing overhanging stalactites and ethereal formations. It's a steep 800m walk to the cave entrance, either via a rocky but shaded natural trail or the sunny paved path starting near the car park.
The most famous formation is a stalactite nicknamed 'the mantle of Zeus' in the larger chamber on the right side. Votives found in the cave indicate that it was a place of cult worship from Minoan to Roman times. Some are now on display at the Archaeological Museum in Iraklio.